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The Bruflat and North Etnedal churches

Bruflat

by Jahn Bore Jansen

The present church at Bruflat, Etnedal was inaugrated in 1750 and moved to its present site in 1774. Before this church there was a timberlog church which probably was built in 1641, maybe not finished until 1662. The parson Peder Joakim Landt in Aurdal writes that in 1743 Bruflat church had no income, the church was maintained by the local inhabitants and built about 100 years earlier because of great difficulties for the increasing population (in 1743: 35 farmers) to bring their dead over the hill to Aurdal, especially in winter with much snow. If the parson is right, it seems that Etnedal had had no church for a long time before 1641.

The first church in Etnedal is mentioned in the year 1327 as "ecclesia de Erthedal." The name Bruflat is mentioned in 1317 and the Bruflat parish is mentioned in 1401 and 1446. This first church must have been a stave church, since all other churches we know from the same time were stave churches. The smallest of the bells in the tower of Bruflat church today is dated to about the year 1200. We know that for a long time after the plague "The Black Death" in 1350 Etnedalen was completely deserted. During this time the stave church must have fallen down, although some sources indicate that the stave church or another church might have existed in 1552.

The altar piece is from the year 1789, made by "Kviteguten." The baptismal font is from 1793, also made by "Kviteguten." The organ is from 1896. The oldest church bell is already mentioned, the others are from 1706 and the two newest are from 1912, one of them given by people from Etnedal who had immigrated to America.

The Bruflat parish was made by part of South Aurdal in 1893. At the same time the North Etnedal parish was made by a part of Skrautval in North Aurdal. These two parishes form the parochial district of Etnedal.

The North Etnedal church was built in 1866 as a chapel for a part of Skrautval. It is a white wooden church, drawn by the architect J.W. Nordan. Since 1893 the church is the parish church of North Etnedal.

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